Need cash fast? The medical world is dying to pay you to study and farm your body.
Look up plasma donation centers in your area. Many of these facilities will pay you $60-$80 for each donation and, depending on the center, will allow you to donate between one and two times a week. Those who qualify to donate blood will most likely qualify to donate plasma. So unless you lived in the UK during the mad cow disease scare or have had anal sex with a man in Nigeria since 1976 (along with all those other fun questions,) odds are you’re good to go.
When you go in, they will put you through a screening test, checking your general health and asking all those weird questions. Then they’ll take you back and draw some blood. They’ll spin your blood around in a machine, separating the plasma from the rest of your blood. They keep the plasma, then pump the rest back into you. You may get a cookie and then go home with your payload.
Some people think they are doing a good thing while getting paid for it. Their plasma, after all, is going to research. I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but usually the people collecting the plasma work for pharmaceutical companies. Could the drug they develop using your plasma save lives? Sure, maybe. But the bottom line is that they’re paying you so they can do research on a drug that will make them money.
Medical Research Studies
Hospitals and universities nationwide conduct research studies that need human guinea pigs, and they’re willing to pay you to be one. Generally, participants get paid anywhere between $50-thousands of dollars, depending on the length and intensity of the study. Examples of study include sleep studies, studies on breastfeeding women, smoking cessation studies…the list goes on forever. If you’re in Pittsburgh, UPMC does a ton of them. You can search for them online, but a lot of times the websites are outdated. I know they post a lot of opportunities on bulletin boards around and inside the William Pitt Union. (That’s if you’re willing to go there right now….what’s up with all these bomb threats?!)
Medical Research Studies can be a good way to earn money, but always keep in mind that your health should come over a quick payday. If you don’t feel right about the drug they want to test on you, you can always say no. Being healthy long-term is a more frugal option, anyways.
If you’re in generally good health, and male, you could always consider donating sperm. The pay is between $35-$50 per donation, and you can expect to be able to do it about twice per week depending on the clinic. In other countries there’s a lifetime max of how many times you can donate, but not here in the United States! I’m not going to get into the “how” on this one; if this is one of your options, you are more intimately familiar with how it works than I am.
It’s important to think how this will effect you and your loved ones in the future. Will you ever be curious about your biological children? Would a future spouse be bothered by the fact that you participated in sperm donation? There’s websites now where you can find your biological siblings by donor number. One donor, “Ben,” decided to enter his own donor number and found he had over 70 children. On one hand, he had helped so many families have…well, families. On the other, his fiance was not happy about the news and felt like he had been incredibly selfish. He had kids wanting to meet him etc., etc. So if you do decide this is a good path for you, don’t enter your donor number on one of these websites. It will open up a Pandora’s box. (Click here to see part of Ben’s story.)